Author Topic: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read  (Read 1644 times)

It's alright innit? Everything's shit but you've still got this healthy wodge of escapism that's going to last you for days. 

Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2020, 07:02:46 PM »
Until you get a tenth of the way in and think, I fucking HATE this, but feel you have to keep slogging through it.

Glebe

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Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2020, 07:24:14 PM »
I just can't get through Stephen King's It. 300 pages is my best shot.

Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2020, 07:48:06 PM »
I gave up with that one after 900 pages.  Only had about 200 or so to go!  Just couldn't bring myself to care enough to finish.

Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2020, 08:22:15 AM »
Until you get a tenth of the way in and think, I fucking HATE this, but feel you have to keep slogging through it.

Never once felt regret at ditching a book. Boot the fucker if you're not enjoying it I say!

Famous Mortimer

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Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2020, 03:15:38 PM »
Never once felt regret at ditching a book. Boot the fucker if you're not enjoying it I say!
Agreed. Life is too damn short.

Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2020, 04:05:10 PM »
Funnily enough though I'm usually the opposite with films. I feel like I might as well see where it goes even if I hate it.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2020, 04:16:21 PM »
Agreed. Life is too damn short.

I'm like that now but I never used to be, and it was probably only when I hit 40 or so that I started quitting books I wasn't enjoying. Wish I knew where I got the "You have to stick with it through to the bitter end" thing from too, I really can't remember but I'm guessing it must either have been my parents or a teacher...

Famous Mortimer

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Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2020, 02:38:59 PM »
I'm like that now but I never used to be, and it was probably only when I hit 40 or so that I started quitting books I wasn't enjoying. Wish I knew where I got the "You have to stick with it through to the bitter end" thing from too, I really can't remember but I'm guessing it must either have been my parents or a teacher...
I used to as well, without a doubt. But the last couple of years, especially, I'll read a non-fiction book and...I feel like they've made their point by the end of the first chapter, and the rest of it needs to be well-written in order to keep my interest. Like, dozens of popular sociology titles should be 50-page pamphlets, not books.

buttgammon

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Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2020, 03:28:36 PM »
I've been getting stuck into Moby Dick over the last few days and I've been having a whale of a time, so knowing there's hundreds of pages to go has been brilliant. This isn't always the case and I normally think brevity is a strong point, albeit with a few notable exceptions.

All Surrogate

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Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2020, 04:18:33 PM »
Oooh, I'm reading Moby Dick too at the moment; nearly finished. It's rich stuff, so rich I had to take a break halfway through to reread Dune. But it is very good, with moments making me think "if Shakepeare had written a novel, it would be like this." Some sections read like scenes from a play, and Ahab's speeches are by-and-large magnificent.

buttgammon

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Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2020, 04:45:09 PM »
Oooh, I'm reading Moby Dick too at the moment; nearly finished. It's rich stuff, so rich I had to take a break halfway through to reread Dune. But it is very good, with moments making me think "if Shakepeare had written a novel, it would be like this." Some sections read like scenes from a play, and Ahab's speeches are by-and-large magnificent.

I'm loving it, and the Shakespeare comparison works well. There's also something about it that's making me think of Ulysses, but that's an idea  that needs fleshing out (I'm only 200 pages in). It's certainly a dense book, but there's a lot of fun to be had in reading it.

Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2020, 04:58:11 PM »
But it brings on utter frustration when life is so busy you can never get to sit down quietly to really get stuck in.

Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2020, 05:20:04 PM »
I've got The Count of Monte Cristo on the go at the moment and it's got a great combination of having a breezy, easy to follow style and a high page count (obviously because it was serialised originally and probably not meant to be read cover to cover). It's a cliche but I'm drawing comfort in cliches at the moment - it's an easy book to sink into.

Definitely need to re-read Moby Dick.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2020, 07:13:22 PM »
I've got The Count of Monte Cristo on the go at the moment and it's got a great combination of having a breezy, easy to follow style and a high page count (obviously because it was serialised originally and probably not meant to be read cover to cover). It's a cliche but I'm drawing comfort in cliches at the moment - it's an easy book to sink into.

Definitely need to re-read Moby Dick.
"The Count Of Monte Cristo" is one of my favourite novels ever, it's just so much fun to read (are you doing the recent translation of it?)

Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2020, 07:36:35 PM »
"The Count Of Monte Cristo" is one of my favourite novels ever, it's just so much fun to read (are you doing the recent translation of it?)

I just checked the swashbuckling thread and I'm reading it because of your description of it, so cheers for that! It's a 1996 translation, seems pretty good though.

Re: The comforting feeling of knowing you've got a giant fuck-off novel to read
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2020, 08:58:42 PM »
I'm usually one to soldier on with books even when I'm not massively engrossed, but then it's very rare I'll find something that is massively off-putting. I get the life is too short angle, but I usually get something out of it by the end. Portrait of An Artist I did labour with for a while, but I was glad by the end that I didn't sack it off. Funny thing is, that I did use to give up on stuff - never finished The Stand, on the subject of Stephen King - but a few years ago, I got annoyed at leaving too many things in my life half-finished (books, qualifications, guitar learning etc). Books in particular can be slow burners, at least in my experience.

Although now I'm trying to remember if I actually enjoyed David Copperfield. And starting Yakuza 0 was a mistake.

Despite what I said above, it's pretty rare that I'll completely ditch a book. I read something on Goodreads that was an interesting comment from a user, about there being inherent value in reading things that you don't understand, or don't click with. I'll try and find it.

Famous Mortimer

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I just checked the swashbuckling thread and I'm reading it because of your description of it, so cheers for that! It's a 1996 translation, seems pretty good though.
I clearly need some new material, as those two posts from me are very similar :(

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
I just can't get through Stephen King's It. 300 pages is my best shot.
Mine's currently bookmarked at 488. I've just started reading another book.

Famous Mortimer

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I just pulled "The Recognitions" by William Gaddis out of the pile. 954 pages in the edition I have, with an introduction by William H Gass which I hope is "most of you reading this probably think we're the same person". Might as well, if I go to my grave having read a Dawson's Creek novel but no Gaddis, I'll be all grumpy for eternity.

Inspector Norse

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I just pulled "The Recognitions" by William Gaddis out of the pile. 954 pages in the edition I have, with an introduction by William H Gass which I hope is "most of you reading this probably think we're the same person". Might as well, if I go to my grave having read a Dawson's Creek novel but no Gaddis, I'll be all grumpy for eternity.

I have that on the shelf but haven’t dared.

I did plough to the end of Gass’s The Tunnel earlier this year. Not a rewarding experience.

Famous Mortimer

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I just pulled "The Recognitions" by William Gaddis out of the pile. 954 pages in the edition I have, with an introduction by William H Gass which I hope is "most of you reading this probably think we're the same person". Might as well, if I go to my grave having read a Dawson's Creek novel but no Gaddis, I'll be all grumpy for eternity.
First page, he makes a joke about kind remarks about Gaddis' books being occasionally given to a "fatter man". Also, coincidentally, at the end of the introduction, Gass' location is given as Washington University in St Louis, the place I work. All signs are pointing to me enjoying it more this time than I did the last time I tried, in my twenties.

I've looked at "The Tunnel" a few times and it doesn't sound like my cup of tea at all.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2020, 09:33:23 PM by Famous Mortimer »

buttgammon

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I just pulled "The Recognitions" by William Gaddis out of the pile. 954 pages in the edition I have, with an introduction by William H Gass which I hope is "most of you reading this probably think we're the same person". Might as well, if I go to my grave having read a Dawson's Creek novel but no Gaddis, I'll be all grumpy for eternity.

He's not wrong about the name thing; I only got into Gass because I'd read something about Gaddis and got them confused, so I bought a book by the wrong William, realised my error and ended up really liking the other guy.

I read JR and didn't like it, but I will give this a go at some point in the future. NYRB have a reprint coming out that has a gorgeous cover, so I will get that.

chveik

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I didn't bother with The Tunnel after that passage where he name-drops hundreds of writers for seemingly no reason at all.

I find the idea behind JR interesting but I doubt I'll ever finish it.

touchingcloth

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I'm like that now but I never used to be, and it was probably only when I hit 40 or so that I started quitting books I wasn't enjoying. Wish I knew where I got the "You have to stick with it through to the bitter end" thing from too, I really can't remember but I'm guessing it must either have been my parents or a teacher...

For me it’s letting go of being a completist. There was a time I’d read every single footnote, appendix and even the longest and driest of forewords, but I just can’t be fucking arsed any more. Same with DVDs and albums - I don’t bother with watching all of the extras or reading the sleeves unless they actually interest me.

fucking ponderous

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I just pulled "The Recognitions" by William Gaddis out of the pile. 954 pages in the edition I have, with an introduction by William H Gass which I hope is "most of you reading this probably think we're the same person". Might as well, if I go to my grave having read a Dawson's Creek novel but no Gaddis, I'll be all grumpy for eternity.
I've been reading Infinite Jest for the first time and while I'm enjoying it I am a bit desperate for it to finish so I can get on to other things (i'm about 670 pages in). Perhaps foolishly The Recognitions is one of those things. Though I do have copies of Ishmael Reed's Mumbo Jumbo and Nicholson Baker's The Mezzanine that I'll probably squeeze in before, they both appear short.

Famous Mortimer

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I'm slowly reading "The Recognitions", and it's really good. Every page has something interesting or well-written in it.

All the reviews and comments are like "this is the most complicated book ever", but the introduction from William Gass is "just read it through and get what you get, if you like it, read it again", which I appreciate.

buttgammon

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I'm slowly reading "The Recognitions", and it's really good. Every page has something interesting or well-written in it.

All the reviews and comments are like "this is the most complicated book ever", but the introduction from William Gass is "just read it through and get what you get, if you like it, read it again", which I appreciate.

From experience, that's good advice for pretty much any 'notoriously difficult' book.

falafel

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It's my favourite book hands down and much better than J R. Some of the names alone are incredible (Recktall Brown and Agnes Deigh come to mind). Keep going.

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